From the dust, and the drought, and the heat,
I am borne on the pinions of leave,
From the things that are bad to repeat
To the things that are good to receive.
From the glare of the day at its height
On a land that was blinding to see,
From the wearisome hiss of the night,
By a turn of the wheel I am free.
I have passed to the heart of the Hills,
For a season of halcyon hours,
'Mid the music of murmurous rills,
And the delicate odours of flowers;
And I walk in an exquisite shade,
Where the fern-tasselled boughs interlace;
And the verdurous fringe of the glade
Is a marvel of fairylike grace;
And with never an aim or a plan
I can wander in uttermost ease,
Where the only reminders of Man
Are the monkeys aloft in the trees;
Or, perchance, on the 'silvery mere,'
In a 'shallop' I lazily float,
With - it's possible - some one to steer,
Or with no one (which lightens the boat).
O the glorious gift of release
From the chains that encircle the thrall,
To be quiet, and cool, and at peace,
And to loaf, and do nothing at all!
I am clear of that infamous lark;
I am far from the blare of the Band;
And the bugles are silent, the bark
Of the Colonel is hushed in the land.
And - I say it again - I am free,
In the valleys of wandering bliss;
And most gratefully 'own, if there be
An Elysium on earth, it is this!'